Camino and Hiking Events in April 2019

Happy spring! Below is a selection of upcoming events for the SF Bay Area including: Camino Brewing’s one year anniversary; a Camino Portugués Coastal presentation; a 2-day Mini Camino; a Flamenco show in Oakland; and a Marin Headlands hike. Alas, it’s high season for Camino planning, training, and gear fitting, so let’s hop right to it!

Preparing for the Camino de Santiago
Tuesday, April 2, 7-8:30 pm
Saratoga REI (San Jose)

So you’ve decided to hike the Camino de Santiago, or maybe you’re still thinking about it. You know how to pack for a vacation in Hawaii, but how do you pack for a hike in Spain? Join the Silicon Valley Chapter of the American Pilgrims on the Camino (APOC) for an evening of Camino talk. Camino veterans will discuss their equipment and clothing, including what worked, what didn’t work and why. They will also talk about Camino routes and what to expect when you are walking.

Location: Saratoga REI
400 El Paseo de Saratoga, San Jose, CA 95130

Register online or in person.

Lake Merritt Walk in Oakland – First Saturday
Saturday, April 6, 10:30 AM

March 2, 2019 Lake Merritt Walk

March 2, 2019 Lake Merritt Walk

Join our popular and easy walk that takes place on the first Saturday of the month, rain or shine. Meet at the Pergola (aka “The Columns”) on the east side of Oakland’s Lake Merritt at 10:30 AM and start walking by 10:45 AM. It’s a level, 3.3-mile walk around the lake that takes about an hour. Whether you’re a newbie or Camino veteran, everyone is welcome. Bring your questions, answers and pilgrim spirit! But leave the dogs at home (for insurance purposes.)

If you’re on the NorCal Facebook group, join event.

Camino Brewing’s One Year Birthday Party
Saturday, April 6, 12 noon – 11 PM

Celebrate one year of great beer and adventures on the Camino on Sat. April 6th, from noon – 11pm at our taproom. Get there early to snag a bottle of their limited barrel aged beers. Enjoy live music from great local bands and delicious food will be provided by Mollie’s Catering, and Barya Kitchen.  Click here for schedule and details.

Feliz cumpleaños,  Camino Brewing!!! I hope to make a beer pilgrimage there via Amtrak sometime this summer.

If you cannot make it on Sat. the Silicon Valley chapter is hosting an event there the next day! See below….

Meet & Greet at Camino Brewing Company
Sunday, April 7th at 12 noon

Join the Silicon Valley Chapter for a Meet and Greet at Camino Brewing in San Jose. This is a great opportunity to get together to talk Camino. If you are thinking about or planning a Camino, Camino veterans will be there to talk with you about all things Camino-routes, what to pack, etc! Click for details (Facebook event)

Event hosted by American Pilgrims on the Camino – Silicon Valley Chapter.

Your Camino Q&A with Sacramento Chapter
Tuesday, April 9th, 7 – 9 PM
Arden Dimick Library, Community Room

The good folks over in the Sacramento Chapter are hosting a free event to talk about your Camino! They have completed a three part session at REI (beginning again in June!), however, there may still be questions to ask, nerves to calm, and hearts to inspire!!

What do you still want to know before you head out for your Camino? Questions about your pack? Bring it! Wondering about special albergues, alternative routes or dietary concerns? Ask about it! This will be an evening of returnees and new walkers – sharing information, sharing stories … and ultimately, creating community!

Returnees … please come out and share your experience with all of those preparing to leave!

Arden Dimick Library – 891 Watt Ave (Watt at Northrop) View Map

Kerri, Andy and Bruce
Sacramento Pilgrims Chapter Coordinators

Camino Portugués Coastal Presentation
Wednesday, April 10, 2019
6:00 – 7:30 PM
Berkeley West Branch Library

Thinking about walking The Camino Portugués? Or walking the route again? Join us Wednesday, April 10th, 6 PM, at the West Berkeley Public Library, for a discussion on The Camino Portugués Coastal Route. Mike Dickman and Todd Rydstrom walked from Porto to Santiago in September 2018. They’ll share their experiences and the spirit of the Camino Portugués. Questions welcomed.  Ultreia!

Todd and Mike on Day 7, south of Redondela

Todd and Mike on Day 7, south of Redondela

5:45 pm – Community room doors open (volunteers welcome to help set up chairs)
6:00 pm – Sign-in and socializing
6:15 pm – Presentation begins, Q & A follows
7:30 pm – Out of the community room (library closes at 8 pm)

Berkeley Public Library West Branch
1125 University Ave. (at San Pablo)
Berkeley, CA 94702

Space is limited, RSVP required: by 12 pm on Wed. April 10

See more details here.

Camino Norte and Primitivo with
Susan and Ralph Alcorn
Thursday, April 11th at 1:30 PM
Livermore Public Library

Join the Livermore Public Library for this month’s Armchair Traveler’s series presented by Susan and Ralph Alcorn on  Civic Center Library, Community Rooms A and B, Livermore Public Library, 1188 S. Livermore Ave., Livermore, CA. Contact: (925) 373-5500. No registration is necessary for this free event. Event Map:  Click Here

Healing MilesIn 2015-16, Susan and Ralph Alcorn hiked the Camino Norte and the Camino Primitivo, two of the less-traveled routes of the Camino de Santiago. Susan is the author of several books, including Healing Miles: Gifts from the Caminos Norte and Primitivo. Ralph and Susan have also hiked the Pacific Crest Trail, the John Muir Trail, and the Torres del Paine in Patagonia, and they share hiking advice on their website.

Where: Civic Center Library, Community Rooms A and B, Livermore Public Library, 1188 S. Livermore Ave., Livermore, CA, 94550
Contact: (925) 373-5500
Event Map: Click Here

2-Day Coastal Mini-Camino
Pacifica to Half Moon Bay with Overnight Stay
April 13 at 9 AM – April 14 at 3:30 PM

Optional: Meet on Sunday just for the day hike (details below)

Did you know you can do an amazing 2-day coastal hike, with a stay in a hostel, right here in the Bay Area? Join fellow pilgrims for a Mini-Camino along the gorgeous San Mateo County coast with a night at the Point Montara Hostel.

$35 for overnight stay in hostel

HOW TO RESERVE: Contact Lisa Hettler-Smith and she will let you know if there are still spots and send a PayPal link.  Once she receives payment, your spot will be confirmed.

LIMITED TO 16 PEOPLE. As of publication, there is one space left.  Details at:
Event for American Pilgrims on the Camino – Silicon Valley Chapter

On Sunday, April 14th, you can join the group for a day hike:

Walk from Pt. Montara to Half Moon Bay. (8.3 miles, mostly flat, right along the coast). Optional stop to visit Fitzgerald Marine Reserve on the way.

Lunch is at one of several restaurants at Pillar Point Harbor (about 1/2 way to HMB). If you prefer not to eat in a restaurant, you can bring a bag lunch for Sunday as well.

We will arrive back to the cars in HMB very roughly around 3:30pm. If you’re a fast walker, you don’t need to stay with the group, and can make it a shorter day.

An Evening of Flamenco at The Sound Room
Friday, April 19, 2019  8:00 PM

Advanced Seating at 7P, General admission at 7:30P, Music at 8P. Beverages and small plates available for purchase
Tickets $20 – $25
Tried and true! I have been to two Flamenco shows here and they have some rotating musicians. The seats will sell out fast, so if you like Flamenco, go for it!
They have a good menu, including beer, wine, and sangria. Ole!

Marin Headlands Hike
Marin County, California
Saturday, April 20, 2019 at 10 AM – 4:30 PM

Enjoy the beauty of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area and springtime flowers as we hike thru the Marin Headlands, adjacent to Sausalito. Expect a moderately paced 10 – 11-mile hike with a 2,000 foot elevation gain. We will hike thru parts of both Gerbode and Tennessee Valleys. Now part of the GGNRA, both Gerbode and Tenessee Valleys were intended to become the town of Marincello with a population of 30,000. Hiking poles will help on this hike because there are lots of gradual ups and downs.

Leader: Dick Duker.
Level of Difficulty: 3B (10 to less than 15 miles, less than 2,000 ft elevation gain). Cancelled by rain. If weather questionable, call (510) 526-5530 for an update message. For insurance purposes, we are unable to welcome dogs, except service animals, at our events.
Click here to see email announcement for more details.
Organize carpooling via the event on our Facebook Group.

Backpack fitting at select Bay Area REI Stores

REI customer getting backpack fitting
When I was planning for my first Camino, I asked an REI associate for help on selecting a backpack.  I tried different brands and stuffed them with sandbags to get a feel for it fully loaded.  Did you know that REI members can schedule a personalized fit appointment? Here’s their official pitch:

Whether you’re embarking on the trip of a lifetime or getting your feet wet with a new activity, personal outfitting and fit appointments can save time and set you on the path to success. Book a free appointment at your local store.

Not every REI store offers personalized fit appointments. But never fear—every store is staffed with gear experts happy to help you find what you need. Even without an appointment, you can always come in!

I wish everyone a wonderful Easter, Passover, Earth Day, fiestas, or holidays of your choice.  And to everyone heading out on a pilgrimage, Buen Camino!


For other types of events, visit my Yoga & Wellness website at

There are always opportunities to train for or learn about the Camino. If you know of any Camino related events for the SF Bay Area that should be included in the monthly roundup, please use the comment form below, or email me.

For those who live elsewhere, there are Camino hotspots all over the USA and the American Pilgrims on the Camino (APOC) website has a listing of local chapters where you can find Camino events. There are also many active Facebook groups to learn about events in your region. Check your local REI store for workshops and presentations about the Camino. Check for events in your area.

Visit the Northern California Chapter page on the APOC website.

Join the Peregrinos Northern California Facebook group (closed group for Northern California residents only)

The Camino Provides

Limited edition 2019 patches have sold out much earlier than expected, but more are on the way. Original patches are $4 each at

My mission is to celebrate the Camino de Santiago and the pilgrim’s journey, from the calling to Compostela and beyond. I do this by sharing informative tips on training, gear, and routes; by promoting Camino related events in the Bay Area; by interviewing pilgrims and sharing inspiring stories; and by curating content relevant to the Camino.  Purchases help to defray the costs of hosting and managing this blog so that I can keep sharing the Camino love!

Digame, por favor.

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